Auxey-Duresses is an AOC whose wine is made from a commune of the same name. The commune is about 4.3 square miles, but less than 350 acres of vineyards make up the AOC. There are no Grands Crus, but a number of Premiers Crus and excellent village wines give the area a reputation for lower-priced red and white Burgundy. Mostly red wine is produced, since at village level most Côte de Beaune wines are red, but about 30% of production consists of Chardonnay-based white.
The Auxey-Duresses AOC dates only from 1970. At first an obscure, rarely used AOC, it eventually became more popular and nowadays most of the wine produced in Auxey-Duresses is labeled as such, rather than a generic Côte de Beaune-Villages name. The village, in its 40 years of AOC status, has gained a reputation for the type of wine it produces.
Climate and Viticulture
Auxey-Duresses borders on Volnay, which is famous for its perfumed, feminine Pinot Noir, and Meursault, which makes rich Chardonnay wine with hints of butter and nuts. Auxey-Duresses is at a high elevation, only slightly below its neighbors. The elevation, as well as other climate factors, make for wine very similar to the style of Meursault and Volnay. But less concentration in the soil makes for less concentrated wines, and as a result Auxey-Duresses is less famous.
- Pinot Noir: The light, feminine red is not as sophisticated as the very aromatic, approachable Volnays, but Pinot in Auxey-Duresses can take on an excellent character with somewhat exotic flavors. There is some sweetness in the tannins of many of the wines. Due to its lightness, even the best red will start to fade after about 10 years.
- Chardonnay: Unsurprisingly, Chardonnay from Auxey-Duresses can often take on a very similar style to the neighboring Meursault, with a proud richness with layered, balanced flavors of butter and nuts. But the soil is not as concentrated in Auxey-Duresses, and the Chardonnay rarely approaches such a well-rounded, intense nature. Although Pinot Noir has most of the production, the white has more of a pedigree.
Négociants such as Drouhin make wine of a fairly reliable nature in Auxey-Duresses, as they do nearly everywhere in Burgundy. But those looking for rarer, more "special" Auxey-Duresses wines will find the localized growers more interesting. Here are six interesting producers. The wine made by these producers is discussed under subregions below.
- Domaine Comte Armand
- Domaine d'Auvenay
- Domaine Jean-Philippe Diconne
- Domaine Jean-Philippe Fichet
- Maison Deux Montilles
- Morey Blanc
There are no Grands Crus within Auxey-Duresses. Many lieux-dits are used, and most of the wines are village-level. There are, however, 9 Premier Cru vineyards.
- Bas des Duresses
- Les Bréterins
- La Chapelle
- Climat du Val
- Clos du Val: Not to be confused with the famous California winery!
- Les Duresses: One of J-P Diconne's reputable Pinot Noirs comes from this vineyard.
- Les Écusseaux
- Les Grands Champs: J-P Diconne has a good red Pinot Noir from here.